Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chiffon Bow Blouse

I'm having a rough sewing day. I'm trying to sew my own version of the Anise jacket and to be honest I'm not having the greatest time with it. I'll write a more in depth post about the pattern and my jacket, but I just had to let it out there. TODAY, SEWING IS NOT MY FRIEND.

Lately, I've only been sewing during the weekends, as during the week I don't live at home and I work a full time job. Because of this, I sometimes resort to sewing little projects rather than new and more time consuming projects. I already have a few basic patterns ready so I can just change the neckline or sleeves and I have a new shirt.
This is kind of what I did with this shirt, only it evolved while I sewed it. It did not evolve because I'm creative or because I kept getting new brilliant idea. It evolved because I kept making mistakes. Antibiotics was invented by mistake, no?  Well, this is my Antibiotics, it's just as brilliant too, I tell ya, going to save plenty of lives this shirt is.

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Yup, it's just chiffon shirt. I'm pretty sure all you sewers out there are saying - why is she even showing this to us? It's true, it really isn't that exciting, but I feel like it's better if us bloggers show our mistakes and mundane projects because whats better than shouting out "I'm just a mediocre sewers sometimes" in public? That's what I'm doing. I hope you don't unfollow my blog now.

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It's kind of difficult to see the details of this shirt because of the busy fabric (it's little leaves!) so I'll give you a recap. I transferred the darts to gathers in the shoulder seam and gave the shirt a baggy look by widening the side seams by about an inch. The sleeves are basically the same width the whole way down (rather than tapering towards the wrist) which I gathered at the wrists and finished with bias binding. The sleeve caps are also gathered which took a little longer to sew with chiffon and IT'S SO FREAKING SLIPPERY but worth the effort (but maybe not.. can you ever tell they're gathered? This pattern is so confusing)

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The collar is one of the most dominant of the Antibiotics Effect in this shirt. I intended this to be a tie collar shirt (kind of vintage style that ties at the side of the neckline) but ended up measuring wrongly and having only tiny little tips left rather than long strips to tie a knot (don't ask me how this happened). After putting a little thought into it (also, I may or may not have had enough fabric to make a new collar) I decided to make a little bow and sew a fabric covered button to it. Can't see what the heck I'm talking about?

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How about now?

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Ok, now that you saw a close up lets talk a little more about the construction. I NEVER know how to construct a tie collar in a clever way, I sit and think about it often (it's kind of embarrassing to admit how much time I spend thinking about how things work in sewing) but I can really never figure out. I'll tell you about my stupid way and then, if any of you guys know the RIGHT way to do it, I'd love to know.
1) I made bias tape from the fashion fabric to attach the collar to the shirt.
2) I cut the long strip of fabric that's going to act as my collar.
3) I sewed the short ends shut so create the square ends.

At this point I'll stop and say that my biggest issue is the point where the collar strip disconnect from the neckline and becomes the tie. Does the make sense? What bothers me is that the strips have to be finished in order to look nice (as in the raw edges of the strip need to be finished somehow) but the rest of the the neckline strip that's laying against the neckline doesn't have to be finished because it's connected to the neckline with a bias strip.
Now, I know that a lot sewers souldn't use a bias strip but encase the neckline with the collar strip, but I still don't understand how to deal with the point where the collar disconncets from the neckline, it seems like such an unclean finish!

4) I measured the neckline length and marked the length in the middle of the strip. I finished ( sewed the long ends right sides together) both ends of the tubes (as they are going to be hanging freely) and trespassed a little into the "neckline territory". That way most of the collar laying against the neckline isn't finished so there isn't that much bulk, but the ends that are nging out are finished.

AHHH does that even make sense???

5) Anyway, I then proceed to attach the collar with a bias strip.

6) the way I created the little bow was sewing the bottom part of the strip to the point where it connects to the neckline (I did this so both strips) and sewed a little button in the middle.

I'm sorry if this was incoherent, let me know if you want me to clarify anything. I kind of wish I had taken pictures!

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A few confessions about this blouse:
1) Apparently I didn't sew the sleeve correctly and one of the gathers escaped the bias strip. I only realized this after wearing is a few times and I now have to rip the seams and resew the bias strip. I REALLY hope I'll get this done and it's won't become a UFO.
2) I didn't really like this shirt when I finished it. I didn't feel that it was very creative or interesting in any way.
3) This blouse has gotten SO many compliments. It's so weird how the things that I don't put that much effort into get more compliments then the ones that I do. Does this happen to you too? I made a dress with an embroidered panel and fabric covered buttons and god knows what else and it got just a few compliments but this shirt that I consider kind of a "blah" sewed garment was complimented constantly. WHATS UP WITH THAT?
4) I didn't bother with a baby hem. I just serged the bottom and hemmed it. Does that make me a bad sewer? I HATE baby hems.

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Back shot. Again, I opted for a curved hem, I have a thing for them.


Ok, so these are questions to you, readers:

1) What do you do when you have a bad a sewing day?
2)  How the heck does one make a tie collar?
3) Why do non sewers always like the projects that I put the least amount of effort in?
4) Why do I not like the projects that I put the least amount of effort in?

I do like this blouse, even though I'm complaining constantly, I've worn it quite a few times and it fits well in my wardrobe.
But whats the point of having a blog if not to complain?


  1. Your blouse looks great, so soft and feminine. I am sure you will get so much wear from it. Most of my favourite clothes in my wardrobe are the ones I have made from remnants and had to refashion the pattern to suit the fabric. You have done a brilliant job of making this very difficult fabric into a beautiful blouse.

    1. Thanks! I actually do get a lot of wear out of it and I get SO many compliments! I still can't understand why people tend to like the garment I make on a whim rather than the ones I put a lot of thoughts into.

  2. 1) Throw a tantrum and do something else for a while. Normally when I sit down again I realise it wasn't as bad as I thought.
    2) No idea :)
    3) No idea!
    4) Maybe because you feel like you should be "trying harder" and putting in more effort than really needed? I love the look of this top, especially the little bow and the shoulder gathers.

    1. Ha! I agree! I always get really angry at stuff (not always sewing related) and ten minutes later realize I was an idiot.
      I do! you're so right! I always feel like I should only be rewarded for the garments I put a lot of thought into. but I guess it doesn't work that way!

  3. I think your blouse looks gorgeous! I'm not the biggest fan of sewing with chiffon but you have done a great job :D

    1. Thanks!! I kno, sewing with chiffon isn't the easiest thing but with a serger and cool nerves (I try not to get to agitated if things get off grain and stuff) it can be fine!


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